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Last reviewed June 2007

Resources on Minnesota Issues
Dual Track Airport Planning Process

This guide is compiled by staff at the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library on a topic of interest to Minnesota legislators. It is designed to provide an introduction to the topic, directing the user to a variety of sources, and is not intended to be exhaustive.

In 1989 the Legislature passed the Metropolitan Airport Planning Act. This act required the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) and the Metropolitan Council to simultaneously consider two options for airport development in the Twin Cities area: expansion of the existing airport and construction of a new airport in or around the seven county metropolitan area. The following chronology outlines the major events in the dual track planning process.

1987 - Citizen's League report recommended continued use and improvement of the existing airport while investigating a new major airport site.

1988 - Reports issued by consultants and the Metropolitan Council Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport Adequacy Study Advisory Task Force recommended the selection of a new airport site and upgrade of existing facility.

1989 - The Metropolitan Airport Planning Act (Laws of Minnesota 1989, chapter 279) was passed by the Legislature, starting the "dual track" process.

1992 - Studies continued on possible designs for a new airport, reuse of the old airport, and the possible environmental impact on search areas. Seven sites for a potential replacement airport were identified through the Metropolitan Airport Commission's Site Selection Study.

1993 - A Legislative Auditor's report found the original Metropolitan Council airport adequacy projections flawed. The sites for a potential replacement airport were narrowed to three; preliminary approval was given to one site in September. The Governor's Task Force on Dual Track Airport Planning Process recommended the current schedule of the planning process be retained.

1994 - MAC selected a site for a potential replacement airport in Dakota County, southwest of Hastings.

1995 - In December the dual track process accelerated when Governor Arne Carlson requested that the MAC and the Metropolitan Council submit their recommendations to the Legislature during the 1996 session.

1996 - MAC and the Metropolitan Council formally submitted their Dual Track Airport Planning Process: Report to the Legislature: Summary to the Legislature on March 18, 1996. It recommended that Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) be expanded and that a new airport not be built in Dakota County. In April, legislation passed that stopped further study of a new airport and directed MAC to implement the Long-term Comprehensive Plan Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (Laws of Minnesota 1996, chapter 464, article 3).

2004 - MAC approved a scaled-back noise insulation plan for residents affected by noise from jets using the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

2006 - A Hennepin County judge ruled that MAC reneged on its promise to provide full soundproofing to thousands of homes.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

SIGNIFICANT BOOKS AND REPORTS:

2006 Minnesota Aviation System Plan. St. Paul: Minnesota Dept. of Transportation, Office of Aeronautics, 2006. (TL726.3.M6 M57 2006)

Airport Planning. St. Paul: Office of the Legislative Auditor, Program Evaluation Division, 1993. (TL726.4 .T9 A57 1993)

Alter, Joel. Metropolitan Airports Commission: Program Evaluation Report. St. Paul: Office of the Legislative Auditor, Program Evaluation Division, 2003. (HE9813.M6 A46 2003)

Builder's Guide: Mitigating Aircraft Noise in New Residential Construction. St. Paul, Minn. : Metropolitan Council, 2006. (TH1725 .B85 2006)

Dual Track Airport Planning Process. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1992. (TL726.4 .T9 D84 1992)

Dual Track Airport Planning Process: Aviation Activity Forecasts. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1993. (TL726.4 .T9 D835 1993)

Dual Track Airport Planning Process: Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport Long-term Comprehensive Plan: Final Alternative Environmental Document. Prepared by Howard, Needles, Tammen, & Bergendoff. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1995. (HE9797.5 .U52 T9 1995)

Dual Track Airport Planning Process: Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport Long-term Comprehensive Plan: Scoping Decision Document. Prepared by Howard, Needles, Tammen, & Bergendoff. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1994. (HE9797.5 .U52 T9 1994a)

Dual Track Airport Planning Process: New Airport Comprehensive Plan: Final Alternative Environmental Document. Prepared by Howard, Needles, Tammen, & Bergendoff. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1995. (TL726.4 .T9 D863 1995)

Dual Track Airport Planning Process: New Airport Comprehensive Plan: Scoping Decision Document. Prepared by Howard, Needles, Tammen, & Bergendoff. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1994. (TL726.4 .T9 D862 1994)

Dual Track Airport Planning Process: Report to the Legislature: Summary. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1996. (TL726.4 T9 D866 1996)

Dual Track Airport Planning Process: Summary and Decision. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1996. (TL726.4.T9 D867 1996)

Dual Track Airport Planning Process, Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, Minnesota: Final Environmental Impact Statement, Section 4(f) Evaluation. Minneapolis: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration and Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1998. (TL726.4.T9 D868 1998)

Economic Impacts of the Alternative Airport Development Scenarios. Prepared by Economics Research Associates and Dahgren, Shardlow, and Uban. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1996. (TL726.4.T9 E36 1996)

Effect of Dual Track Alternatives on Airline Service and Air Fares. Prepared by John F. Brown Company, Inc. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1996. (TL726.4.T9 E43 1996)

Final Record of Decision: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Dual Track Airport Planning Process, New Runway 17/35 and Airport Layout Plan Approval, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minneapolis: U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, 1998. (TL726.4.T9 D87 1998)

Final Report. Governor's Task Force on Dual Track Airport Planning Process, 1993. (TL726.4 .T9 M64 1993)

Financial Analysis, Dual Track Alternatives. Prepared by John F. Brown Company, Inc. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1996. (TL726.4.T9 F546 1996)

Is the Airport Adequate?: A report of the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport Adequacy Study Advisory Task Force to the Metropolitan Council. St. Paul: Metropolitan Council, 1988. (HE9797.5 .U52 T9 1988b) (Required by Laws of Minnesota 1987 chapter 223, section 4.)

Governor's Airport Community Stabilization Funding Task Force. Governor’s Airport Community Stabilization Funding Task Force Final Report. Minnesota : The Governor's Task Force, 2000. (HE9797.5.U52 T9 2000)

Leqve, Chad E. 1999 MASAC Year in Review: Continuing the Exploration of New and Innovative Ways to Address Airport Noise Issues at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Aircraft Sound Abatement Council, 2000. (TL725.3.N6 L3 2000)

Leqve, Chad E. 2000 MSP Part 150 Update: Updating the Noise Compatibility Program at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport in an effort to address the current and future noise environment through the year 2005. Minneapolis, Metropolitan Airports Commission, 2000. (TL725.3.N6 L32 2000)

Long-term Comprehensive Plan Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1995. (TL726.4 .T9 L66 1995)

Make the Present Airport Better: Make a New Airport Possible. Minneapolis: Citizens League Airports Committee, 1987. (HE9797.5 .U52 T92 1987)

Metropolitan Airport Planning Agreements and Legislation. St. Paul: Metropolitan Council, 1989. (TL726.4.T9 M48 1989) (Required by Laws of Minnesota 1989 chapter 279, section 5, subdivision 2.)

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport 14 CFR Part 150 Update, Updated Noise Exposure Maps and Noise Compatibility Program. Prepared by HNTB Corporation. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 2004. (TL725.3.N6 M57 2004 )

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Reuse Study. St. Paul: Metropolitan Council, 1992. (TL726.4 .T9 M772 1992) (Required by Laws of Minnesota 1989 chapter 279, section 1, subdivision 4f.)

New Air Carrier Airport Conceptual Design Study and Plan. Prepared by TRA Airport Consulting. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1991. (TL726.4 .T9 N38 1991)

Selecting a Search Area for a New Major Airport. (Part One: Three Candidate Areas, January, 1991; Part Two: Draft Data Analysis, June, 1991; Part Three: Recommended Search Area, August 16, 1991; Part Four: Search Area Designation, December 1991). St. Paul: Metropolitan Council, 1991. (TL726.4 .T9 S35)

Twin Cities Major-Airport Planning: A Citizen's Guide. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Airports Commission, 1990. (TL726.4 .T9 T95 1990)

SIGNIFICANT ARTICLES:

Olson, Dan. "MSP runway project final leg of $3B improvement plan." MPR News, August 28, 2009.

Olson, Rochelle and Laurie Blake. "Judge: MAC Broke Noise Deal." Star Tribune, January 26, 2007.

Wascoe, Dan. "MAC's Rollback of Noise Relief Will Reverberate: Minneapolis Considers Suing." Star Tribune, November 16, 2004, p. A1.

SIGNIFICANT INTERNET RESOURCES:

Macnoise.com provides information from MAC about their noise programs, including news and events and a form for filing an airport noise complaint.

ADDITIONAL LIBRARY RESOURCES:

For historical information, check the following codes in the Newspaper Clipping File and the Vertical File:

A20.6 (Airports - Minneapolis and St. Paul), M68-MAC (Metropolitan Airports Commission)

For additional reports at the Legislative Library, use these Library catalog searches:
dual track, airport noise.

GROUPS INVOLVED WITH THIS ISSUE:

Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, 645 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN  55155